White Woman Called Police on Black Birdwatcher in Central Park, ‘Weaponizing White Fragility’

A confrontation in the Ramble in Central Park between a white woman walking her dog and a black man watching birds became the hottest topic on social media over the past day.

The woman, identified as Amy Cooper, was with her dog in the park on Monday morning near the Ramble. The man, Christian Cooper (not related), was out looking for birds as he often does. He says the dog was off-leash and tearing through the bushes. He asked her to put a leash on her dog — which is the rule in Ramble — but she refused.

He explained on Facebook what happened next:

“ME: Ma’am, dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times. The sign is right there.
HER: The dog runs are closed. He needs his exercise.
ME: All you have to do is take him to the other side of the drive, outside the Ramble, and you can let him run off leash all you want.
HER: It’s too dangerous.
ME: Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.
HER: What’s that?
ME (to the dog): Come here, puppy!
HER: He won’t come to you.
ME: We’ll see about that…

I pull out the dog treats I carry for just for such intransigence. I didn’t even get a chance to toss any treats to the pooch before Karen scrambled to grab the dog.

HER: DON’T YOU TOUCH MY DOG!!!!!

That’s when I started video recording with my iPhone, and when her inner Karen fully emerged and took a dark turn…”

Cooper called police and said that there’s an African-American man threatening her and her dog, her voice getting more and more agitated.

Cooper’s sister posted the video on Twitter, where many people pointed out that saying that a man was threatening her life when there is no indication that he was doing so puts Christian Cooper’s life in danger.

The weaponizing of White fragility, as well as 911 itself, is not a game,” wrote Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill on Twitter. “It can lead to Black death. Sometimes ‘Karen’ is indifferent to this truth. At other times, like this, it appears quite intentional. This is terrifying.

(“Karen” is a slang term used to describe someone who acts entitled.)

Police said they sent officers but the people were no longer there and they classified it as a verbal dispute.

After her former dogwalker identified the woman as Amy Cooper, Twitter users outraged by her behavior demanded action from her employer Franklin Templeton Investments. The firm put her on administrative leave.

She also gave her dog back to the rescue shelter where she had adopted it a few years ago.

The video has been viewed millions of times and it remained a top trending topic on Twitter on Tuesday, with hashtags like #fireAmyCooper.

The mayor also weighed in:

Amy Cooper told CNN that she wanted to “publicly apologize to everyone,” saying “I’m not a racist.”

“I think I was just scared,” Amy Cooper said. “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.” She said that she was particularly upset by his “you’re not going to like it” comment. “I didn’t know what that meant. When you’re alone in a wooded area, that’s absolutely terrifying right?”

Christian Cooper told CNN he’ll accept her apology on certain conditions: “if it’s genuine and if she plans on keeping her dog on a leash in the Ramble going forward, then we have no issues with each other.”

“I videotaped it because I thought it was important to document things,” Christian Cooper told CNN. “Unfortunately we live in an era with things like Ahmaud Arbery, where black men are seen as targets. This woman thought she could exploit that to her advantage, and I wasn’t having it.”

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 149 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      I read about this. In my opinion I don’t think this was a matter of racism but rather an obnoxious and entitled woman who believes the law and basic CP etiquette don’t apply to her and her dog.

      Furthermore, the WSR should not be quoting and giving legitimacy to Marc Lamont Hill. The man is a nasty trouble maker who was fired by CNN for his overt and violent anti-Semitic comments.

      • UWS-er says:

        She’s obnoxious and entitled, yes, but it’s CLEARLY racism. She doesn’t say she’s going to report someone threatening her, she says she’s going to report an African-American man threatening her. She knows the police will view that differently.

      • David Lowry says:

        Not racism? Why did she repeatedly state she would tell police and African American man was threatening her, knowing that this has led to the death of AA men in the past. What’s you definition of racism?

        • Sherman says:

          She described the man to police. He is African American.

          Had the man been Irish and she told police there was a redhead bothering her would that constitute anti-white racism?

          Again, I’m not defending her as she was breaking the rules and apparently overreacted but I don’t believe this constitutes racism.

          • EPNYC says:

            Using your example, would she have said “there is a red headed man threatening me and my dog” I think you know the answer to that and yes it is blatant racism and she was fully aware. She so brazenly told him what her tactic for handling this was.

          • ABF says:

            I mean, if this country had a long, well-documented history of police killing and brutalizing redheads, and if “anti-white racism” were a thing (It’s not! White people haven’t been systemically oppressed for hundreds of years! That’s not how structures of power operate!), then that would be another story. But that’s VERY clearly not the case.

          • Paul says:

            It’s what she says TO HIM, not what she says to 911.
            Why do you have to change the facts to justify your point?

          • MarkG says:

            You probably should have quit after your first comment.

          • Sally D says:

            Amy Cooper’s actions revealed a kind of calculated savviness showing she was already aware of her white privilege. Watch her sneer at Cooper “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life” then proceeded to do so w/FAKE-breathlessness, screaming and tears! Threatening her life? Christan Cooper merely asked her to leash her dog aka follow the rules/city ordinance.

          • Ann says:

            “Isn’t it pretty to think so?” Hemingway

      • jezbel says:

        She very specifically told the 911 operator (several times) “an African-American man” is threatening her and her dog. If I was truly frightened for my life – I’d be leaving that area, not standing my ground. And I’d probably say “someone’s trying to hurt me”. I doubt the first thing I’d say was what color the person is. This was the act of “Karen” who knew she had her whiteness on her side. She knew police would show, she knew she’d be listened to, she knew the man would be harassed. She’s smart enough to know the times in which we’re living at this moment. She needs some serious help.
        I’m also glad she allegedly gave the dog back to the shelter. She dragged the poor animal by the neck during the entire confrontation completely unaware that she nearly choked it to death. This kind of person shouldn’t have a pet. And should never have children either. IMHO

      • Not Surprised says:

        I came here to see Sherman post something showing his racism. Thanks for not disappointing. The first comment even!!!

        • Sherman says:

          Thanks for following me! I should send you my LinkedIn profile.

          And please let me know what part of my post constitutes “racism”.

    2. ??? says:

      I don’t think either of these individuals comes across in a positive light. Him saying “you won’t like what I do” does sound like a threat… as does her retort of telling the police an African-American man is threatening her. What have we come to?

      • Nevets K says:

        “ME: Ma’am, dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times. The sign is right there.
        HER: The dog runs are closed. He needs his exercise.
        ME: All you have to do is take him to the other side of the drive, outside the Ramble, and you can let him run off leash all you want.
        HER: It’s too dangerous.
        ME: Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.
        HER: What’s that?
        ME (to the dog): Come here, puppy!
        HER: He won’t come to you.
        ME: We’ll see about that…

        I basically agree with the above commentator.
        Assuming Mr. Cooper’s Facebook transcript is accurate,
        both of the Coopers handled this poorly, Ms. Cooper starting it off with classic passive-aggressive behavior by having her dog off the leash. (Where I have seen this before?) Her anti-social behavior is then answered, appropriately, by Mr. Cooper with a reasonable solution.
        But when she refuses his solution, Mr. Cooper makes what Ms. Cooper quite understandably perceives as a threat against her dog. (Remember, at this moment, a he had no idea – nor could she – that he was about to offer her dog a dog treat. Still, she did know, at the least, that Mr. Cooper would be trying to separate her dog from her.) She yells, again according to Mr. Cooper’s transcript,”Don’t you touch my dog!”
        And then, feeling under threat – her identification with her dog complete and absolute – she goes into deep and nauseating racism, “tipping the scales entirely.”

        Mr. Cooper handled this encounter poorly with his attempted, and not so clever, move involving the dog treats. But Ms. Cooper needs re-training and – I hesitate to add but can’t resist — “some kind of leash.”

        Yet, from her mea culpa, she is perhaps beginning to see her behavior in the park as both grievous and hateful.

        • LK says:

          I agree with both of you. The female was entitled and obnoxious and the male went for a planned confrontation and videotaped it to get the benefit out of it ( or so it appears ). I don’t think if we start encouraging people to chase, provoke, and confront others with video cameras our society will be much better. Also assigning unwanted social behaviors to names ( ‘Karen’ in this case ) is an appalling practice that could be viewed in racist and misogynist context as well. Overall, this is an unfortunate situation, where better enforcement of rules and regulations might have helped.

          • mkmuws says:

            Just replying on the ‘Karen’ part, thank you for calling that out. I do find it disgusting and have a visceral reaction every time I read it as a slur. The only Karens I know are effing awesome and the opposite of this garbage woman, and will no doubt be taken aback while reading with disgust about this woman’s actions.

          • Sarah says:

            I hate the use of the word ‘Karen’. It’s being used to justify misogyny in a covert way. I can sense it based on how people are collectively responding to this incident on Twitter and Reddit.
            Not even Jeffrey Epstein sparked this level of vitriol.
            Wouldn’t be surprised that if it were a woman telling a man to leash his dog, she’d still be called a Karen.
            I’m in now way defending this woman because what she did was despicable, and regardless of how poorly he handled the situation with a veiled threat, she tipped the scales.
            I’m just observing the collective reaction to this incident and what it says about us.

          • NPK says:

            Thank you LK for bringing A sensible vIewpoint to this unfortunate encounter!

          • Tina Karlaftis says:

            Well said!

        • Lynn says:

          ALL she had to do was out her dog on a leash. How could she feel threatened by such a request?

      • ben says:

        I agree. The response ‘you won’t like what I do’ is not terribly reassuring. And the unprompted act to feed a strangers dog is not exactly nice either. That said, the woman was in the wrong first by refusing to leash the dog and proceeded to overreact and exaggerate out of deep-lying racism.

      • Mikey G says:

        You’re forgetting an important detail- she’s breaking multiple laws here. First with the off-leash dog, and then with the fake 911 call (incredibly disrespectful to the police to waste their time like that). Not to mention the way she lunges at him, violating social distance protocols. The man may have handled things poorly, but it’s not the same level.

    3. Central Park Pedestrian says:

      I have been intimidated by dog owners when I ask them to put their dog on a leash in Central Park where the rules are clearly posted. They are angry and aggressive about getting asked to leash their dogs. Especially on the bridle path and Sheep Meadow.

      And I am not a person of color. So. Glad Franklin Templeton took this action.

      • CJ says:

        Dogs are not allowed on Sheep Meadow at all. Whether leashed or not. Yet many ignore that rule as well.

    4. NotImpressed says:

      Besides being a racist, she is an animal abuser.
      Her dog was begging for her to stop choking her.
      What a despicable human being. She deserves all the negativity that will come her way.

      • Tudaisey says:

        Thank you for mentioning that! I too commented on how she was strangling that poor animal. Incredibly upsetting! I don’t feel sorry for her at all!

    5. lifer says:

      The two most entitled feeling groups in NYC: dog walkers and bikers.

      • Bob says:

        How bitter do you have to be to just randomly take a swipe at cyclists in an article about racist dog-walkers?

        “Oh, yeah, this woman is racist, and black people face unconscionable bias in this country even today, but have I told you about the time two years ago when a cyclist cut me off? Let’s talk about that instead.”

      • UWSnp says:

        Please do not associate every single dog owner
        /walker with the likes of this woman and her behavior. There are MANY very responsible and respectful dog owners and walkers in NYC. Your statement is an insult.

    6. Francie Thompson says:

      Lock her up & throw away the key!

    7. Giovanni says:

      There is no excuse for Amy’s behavior, yet she continues to claim she was “scared” in order to justify her actions. People who are so easily scared do not go into the Ramble by themselves, and her reply to Christian that the other area he suggested where she could walk her dog off leash was “too dangerous” is laughable. She also said she was “terrified” by an innocuous comment. In fact, her very words indicate that her entire M.O. is to claim that she was scared or terrified, or that something is too dangerous are all ploys designed to justify her own antisocial or unjustified actions.

      You don’t call the police to falsely report that someone is threatening you just because they pointed out that you are the one who is in fact breaking the rules. This behavior is privilege and entitlement at the highest level, and now she is paying a huge price. At least there is one less Karen wandering around out there now.

      • mkmuws says:

        You had me with your well-worded summary until echoing the name Karen as a slur. It isn’t and that’s messed up. We need to cut this crap out right now.

        • Giovanni says:

          In other worlds, you just want to talk to my manager, just like a Karen. LOL! Nice try.

          Did you know that the objection to the term Karen to describe this type of entitled behavior originally came from a Twitter account called ‘Friends of Journalism” which turned out to be run by a white supremacist group? They tried to say the term Karen was racist and compared it to the n-word. Imagine that, a white supremacist group which claims it objects to the use of racial slurs, even when they are not.

          It’s funny how people who don’t get what actual racism is at all will latch onto absolutely anything to dismiss accusations of racism against people and incidents which are otherwise indefensible. In this case, a woman used a mans race as an African American as a weapon against him while making a false report to 911, but your biggest focus now is on the use of the name Karen. That’s like complaining about the color of the lifeboats on the Titanic while the ship is going down.

          It was a nice try anyway, you really had me going there for a minute, until you didn’t.

    8. Carlos says:

      I mainly spend my time in Riverside Park and frequently see dogs off leash outside of the designated times. It is incredibly selfish. I know that it is tough that dog runs are now closed but dogs are allowed off leash before 9 am so there is plenty of time to do so.

      I have literally seen people standing in front of signs with the rules while violating the rules – I point at the sign and get laughed at.

      There needs to be a mechanism for dealing with this. Mr. Cooper has clearly dealt with this a lot so was prepared for the situation – I’m not sure if his solution was the best one but I am horrified by this woman’s reaction to him. Because we all know what a menace to society those 57-year old Harvard educated birdwatchers are…

    9. Margaret says:

      All she had to do was leash her dog, per the rule, and out of respect and decency to literally every other person, plant, and animal in the park, including Mr Cooper and all the other birders. Not file a fake police report. Watching the video where she summons the cops “IMMEDIATELY” in a falsified panicky whine, choking her dog after she was the one breaking the rules, made me cringe. I encourage everyone to watch the video all the way.

      I work in the same industry she does and there is absolutely zero chance that a woman in her position isn’t completely expected to know a zillion times better than this.

      We all deserve better than people like her ruining our precious parks. Luckily since the dog has been surrendered, she won’t still be wrecking the park environment for other birders, but there should still be strict legal consequences for her dangerous actions.

      Since I’m not sure if Central Park Conservancy or anyone else has bothered to say it yet, I am so extremely sorry to Mr. Cooper for the threat he went through.

    10. UWSHebrew says:

      Clearly racist, and dangerously so. Smart man pulling out his cellphone to record this unhinged phony (her CNN apology was so fake, she complained her life is ruined). Deserves everything that the current cancel culture has deemed coming to her.

    11. Coco Roberts says:

      this was completely racist. She said he threatened her life – which he did not – and she made it a point to call out his skin color. She’s a horrible human being and she deserves the blowback she is getting.

    12. HA says:

      “I think I was just scared,” Amy Cooper said.

      ^^ This is racism

      • Chris Everett says:

        Poor dog. She was choking it the entire time, until it squealed for mercy in fear and pain. She should not be allowed to keep a pet.

        • lynn says:

          It states in the article that, “She also gave her dog back to the rescue shelter where she had adopted it a few years ago.”

          Everything about this article is so disturbing that I’m at a loss for words. In any case, I hope the dog finds a better home.

          • Stephanie Jutt says:

            I know, that was the main thing for me too! The poor dog! She screws up big time and then makes the DOG go back to the shelter? SHE should go to the shelter!!!!

            • Tudaisey says:

              I totally agree she acted disgracefully and it is horrifying to watch her literally strangle that poor defenseless animal! What a disgrace!

    13. Riversider says:

      I’ve asked people to leash their dogs in the short stretch up at 119th street called the Wild at Riverside Park – which has “dogs on leash” signs posted prominently at each end. Every single time, the person I’ve politely asked (after saying a pleasant hello to them and admiring their pets – I love dogs but don’t have one) has gotten angry or defensive. “Haven’t YOU ever jaywalked before?? It’s not hurting anyone!” “My dog NEEDS exercise!” “Mind your own business!” Etc. I’ve also on occasion, using the same polite-greeting/admiring the pet approach, asked people to curb their dogs (when they are doing their business smack in the middle of a sidewalk). Same reaction. Every. Single. Time. It would frankly astonish me at this point if someone were to react along the lines of “Oh! You’re right, so sorry, will do that now.” No shortage of inconsiderate, self-centered pet parents on the UWS.

    14. MelaninMama says:

      She reminds me of every mother at school or on the playground who thought I was own kids’ nanny. (For those of you who are unaware, please Google ‘Microaggresion’) I read about this story last night and was wondering if the West Side Rag would make the move to cover it, especially by reading these comments, our neighbors are obviously incapable of identifying what racism looks like if it yelled at them in their faces ear to cellphone attempting to defy Social Distancing. Thank you, West Side Rag, for shining a light on this story and sensitive topic and neighbors, please keep the discussion going. It’s okay if you didn’t see racism this time around and attributed Upper West Side Karen’s reaction to other reasons, it shows you didn’t ignore this story and are processing the events instead of dismissing it. Keep trying. You’ll get there 😉

    15. Sammy says:

      Dog people are the worst!

      • Responsible dog owner says:

        People who make blanket statements about groups of people are the worst.

    16. AC says:

      This woman’s behavior is unacceptable, but there is much more to this incident. You must either be a new City resident or transplant from outside, if you believe this guy was just bird watching. Any life long NYC resident knows what the Ramble is about. In talking to those people who ‘live’ in CP/Street, I’m hearing this woman’s unleashed dog unknowingly interrupted more than just bird watching. Nonetheless, it still doesn’t excuse her behavior.

      Should be interesting to see if any new details get released.

      • Dee says:

        I am often in the Ramble and in the past ten years or so I’ve seen PLENTY of bird watchers. I have never ever seen people having sex or even looking for sex. Because that is your implication, no? Specifically gay sex, right? (And yes, I’m a “transplant”–of 38 years. )

      • UWSMillenial says:

        AC, what in the world are you implying? Please explain this inciting comment.

      • UWSer says:

        OMG, seriously??? It was 8 am in the morning. I’m pretty sure there isn’t much illicit behavior at that hour. May is well known to be the best bird watching month. Birdwatchers are out in force. Not to mention that this guy is on the Board of the NYC Birdwatchers club.

      • Linda says:

        AC, that is a thoroughly despicable thing to suggest. I call it racist, homophobic slander; you should be ashamed of yourself.

      • Bob says:

        Are you nuts? Yes, there was a time when people would have sex in the Ramble. Some still do. But that’s AT NIGHT.

        Are you seriously trying to imply that a black man walking around in broad daylight watching birds must secretly be cruising for sex? Because black men could not possibly be one of the dozens of people who are bird-watching at that hour, amirite?

        Despicable. Go back to Alabama.

        • ZoomZ says:

          Plenty of racists in NYC without your
          “go back to Alabama”.
          By saying this you are a racist yourself.

      • RD says:

        I have been in City for ~15 years and have no idea what you are talking about. What is Ramble about?

      • Giovanni says:

        AC, that is such an ignorant and inflammatory comment I’m surprised this website published it. Do you even know who Christian Cooper is? He is on the board of the New York City Audubon Society. He is also one of the best known birders in Central Park. Now that you know the facts, do you care to revise your statement, or should we just make assumptions about your private life and start calling you AC/DC?

      • Cay says:

        Wow AC, thank goodness we have real lifelong New Yorkers like you to set us all straight. You certainly are “in the know.”

        Oh, here’s a video of Christian Cooper being interviewed about birding in Central Park: https://twitter.com/JoshuaPotash/status/1265338098256424973

        Hmmmmm.

      • mkmuws says:

        That is a heinously ignorant and homophobic comment, and the gay community does not appreciate it. And the dog treats are some kind of kink? Grow up.

      • Stephanie Jutt says:

        You are gross to say that.

      • Cheryl says:

        Wow, glad I’m not you.

      • MarkG says:

        Wow. I’ll see your racism and raise you homophobia. Maybe there will be “new detail”s on how YOU seem to know “what the Ramble is about.” I guess it’s a good thing the guy didn’t claim to be on his way to a swim or fencing practice — because we’d know that was BS. He’s on the BOARD of the Audubon Society. It is POSSIBLE he’s actually a legit birdwatcher.

      • Clara says:

        I agree .there’s more to this story than wat the video shows.

    17. Sue says:

      As someone who has been knocked down by unleashed dogs in the park (and have come close on several other occasions), I wish that the rules on leashing would be enforced in a meaningful way. Again, I am not African American, but I am certain that if I were my reaction to being knocked down would have resulted in the police being called against me.

    18. UWSDrew says:

      My thoughts are decidedly dog first.

      This woman is guilty of getting so upset she almost choked her dog. I can’t imagine this. Why didn’t she just get to dog on the lease and leave very quickly!??

      The man who said he was bird watching is also guilty and needs to be evaluated. If you leave your house literally armed with dog treats to threaten people with you have a deep problem and I would argue h is using this “bird watching hobby” just as an excuse to get into confrontations with people. If someone was threatening my dog with a fake poison treat I would go absolutely berserk and call the cops too and it would not matter AT ALL what color skin they had!! that is seriously messed up and wrong and this guy is a very bad person to do this! There is no bird watching that is important enough to make fake threats towards dogs over!!

      Two bad people ran into each other and the poor dog is the loser here. And I don’t see any racism at all. Sorry.

      • B flat says:

        Nope, he is one of a group of regular birders.

      • Cay says:

        This comment is chilling. Dog people are honestly terrifying. If that was your takeaway from this video, there is something very wrong with your worldview.

      • mkmuws says:

        Well thank you at least for apologizing at the end. That’s the least you could do.

      • jc says:

        and also…the poor dog is being returned to the shelter after having an owner for 3 years? that is a terrifying experience for a dog – to be returned to a shelter.

      • Herman says:

        Her stupidity has been thoroughly discussed, and she has been more than sufficiently punished – nationally embarrassed, lost her job, lost her dog, a pariah for the rest of her lift. Let’s turn now to him: What a total sicko! Imagine if I said, “you don’t keep your dog out of my yard, so tonight I’m going to leave some very special dog food for it!” That is obviously a threat to poison your dog, and that is precisely what this guy did: “You won’t put your dog on the leash, well I have special treats for it!” What a creep. How could she not call the police on this guy!!

    19. Lady Di says:

      totally racist response. she made a point of repeating “an African American man” – I doubt she would have said “a white man” had it been the case. Once again, someone’s clearly racist act has made me ashamed to be a white woman. And to top it off, to learn she returned a shelter dog she had just adopted – that’s particularly traumatic for the dog who no doubt thought he/she had a new home…SMH

    20. G says:

      people suck. i feel bad for the dog.

      • Kat_77 says:

        Couldn’t agree with you more. Both Miss Cooper & Mr. Cooper should have both minded their own business. They both should have shut their mouths & kept walking & not get involved in this petty behavior. They both should have stayed in their own lanes. Takes two to tango…that says it all. Instead of taking the high road, they both sunk to each other’s level. The poor innocent dog ended up being their collateral damage. I don’t feel bad for either Miss Cooper or Mr. Cooper. I do however feel bad for that poor rescue dog.

    21. mehboring says:

      We get it, you’re anti-white.

      If a white man approached a non-white woman, told her to leash her dog, tried to lure her dog and give it “treats” – and she told him to stop – then started filming her – and she told him to stop, and said “I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it,” you’d be rightfully siding with the woman.

      But because the woman is white, all you have to offer is “black man victim, waah!”

      • mkmuws says:

        Wow congratulations on having studied these exact scenarios and knowing exactly how they are supposed to play out. Waah in response to what amounts to threatening this man’s life in America? Shame shame shame on you. You are part of a disgusting problem. You expose yourself when you respond to these stories.

      • Michelle says:

        Let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and grant that what you’re saying may be true, up to a point, for some in this audience. The point where it stops being true for us would be where the black woman, rather de-escalate the situation, chose instead to weaponize some perception of white men to gain the upper hand in the situation when talking with the police, and placed the white man’s life in danger because of it. For example, imagine the black woman saying “a white man with a gun is threatening me.” (White males comprise a higher percentage of total US gun ownership than any other race / gender demographic group.) This would put the white man’s life in danger, and everyone, including you I hope, would not side with the black woman after the point where she told a potentially fatal lie.

    22. Julie says:

      I used to think that animal lovers can’t be jerks. Not all dog owners are obnoxious, but so many times I have to clean my sidewalk because they won’t clean after their dogs. I confront them sometimes and they are aggressive and disrespectful.

    23. Dom says:

      Dog owners never seem to think the rules apply to them and their dogs.

      • NPK says:

        That is a horrible generalization. So you are making a blanket negative indictment of all dog owners. What is the difference between your statement and the racist statements of Ms. Cooper? All African American men Are dangerous? All white women are racists?All dog owners are the worst.? You have just joined all the narrow minded people who grouping people Because of race, gender or pet choice into stereotypical negative classifications. Shame on you!

        • Dom says:

          I forgot to mention hypersensitive, sanctimonious, and delusional. Thanks for the reminder.

    24. Taryn C says:

      I am a dog walker and that area is a BIG problem with off leash dogs. I’ve had confrontations and was even threatened with physical violence once (by a white guy) when I asked him to either leash his dog or keep her away from my dog. It’s a courtesy, and no one does it. That said, I don’t think Christian Cooper is in the wrong AT ALL. He asked to her to keep her dog on leash. She didn’t comply. Bear in mind, black people are shot for doing LESS, and are told to essentially get in line. He said his reasoning for enticing the off leash dogs with treats is because the humans usually don’t like that, and they’ll just leash their dogs and walk away. IMAGINE IF Amy Cooper had simply said, “Oh my bad, have a nice day sir,” and just leashed her dog and carried one. She’d have a job to go to and a dog to come home to. See how simple that was? You can say she was entitled, yes, but she knew EXACTLY what she was doing because when she called the cops she weaponized his race. And that he was threatening her. He wasn’t – he was very calm the entire time. IMAGINE if he hadn’t recorded this, the cops came, arrested him, etc? This is why we have #BlackLivesMatter hashtags and rallies. The number of people excusing her behavior here or equally blaming him for her misdeeds is abominable, but not at all surprising.

      • another guy says:

        Nope. He WAS threatening her and her dog. And what makes it worse is it was premeditated by the fact that he carries dog treats. This is unforgivable.

        Yes she is a bad person for sure. Yes she should have left and said sorry. But if he was a good person he also could have left and bird watched somewhere else.

        He made the first threat here and he was prepared for it. This guy is a psycho. No bird watching is important enough for this. Especially in an area where he KNEW he would encounter people with dogs off leash. He was looking for trouble from the moment he put dog treats in his pocket!

        It doesn’t matter what she said, he doesn’t get off the hook for this!

        • Boris says:

          Somewhat parallels the actions of Jill Nelson who left her house with pink chalk. Both had intent to use those items in some situation that would create controversy. No matter how wrong or bad she is, he didn’t have the right to take retribution by feeding her dogs treats. He could have called the police or park rangers, too. It sounds like he was going to be there bird watching for a while so he came prepared with the treats to confront people.

        • mkmuws says:

          Only in your mind.

        • Nope says:

          He carries dog treats to induce owners to put their dogs on leash or prove that they can’t control them (the owners leash their dogs before he can feed them — actually pretty clever). Do your research. I’m a dog owner and my dog would never hurt anybody off leash. But she shouldn’t be in the Ramble. It’s a protected area for a reason.

    25. lara says:

      As a former dog owner (my dog died), I was more concerned about the dog.She practically strangled him holding him with his collar. She is definitely from a “lily white suburb”! While the term “you’re not going to like it”is hardly reassuring, the overreaction is surely an indication of racism. Put the dog on the leash and move on for God’s sake. His behavior didn’t help but it did expose the underlying racism.(I would never accept dog treats from anyone who offered them, however.) I feel so sad that the dog was returned to the shelter!

    26. Martha says:

      The more I know people, the more I love my dog. Poor puppy!

    27. Stop Animal Abuse says:

      This horrible person was also caught on camera abusing her poor little dog, dragging him by the neck. This should be reported to the police and PETA for animal cruelty. Glad she lost her job.

      • Mike says:

        When you screw up, I hope someone captures it on video, publicly shames you and causes you to be a social outcast and lose your job. Because only people who always follow the rules and think nothing but good thoughts about everybody should be allowed to earn a living and have friends. Is that really what the world has come to? Ruled by a bunch of self righteous Internet trolls who have no tolerance for anyone that screws up? Get some religion and learn to not judge others while feeling some compassion. What she did does not warrant the amount of vitriol hurled at this woman.

        • mkmuws says:

          She put this man’s life in danger. The fact that you live in America and NYC and don’t understand that shows you are missing a lot of information and processing. Good luck to you

    28. Mark Moore says:

      That outfit she’s wearing is like every middle aged white woman on the upper west side.

    29. rose says:

      Marc Lamont Hill was fired from CNN for his rabid antisemitism aka RACISM. And that’s it.
      Quoting him is condoning his racism. Shame.

    30. nycityny says:

      Nobody has mentioned another good reason for the leash law. Dogs running loose are apt to leave small “gifts” in the park that others can unintentionally step in. Owners ignoring leash laws in a park are unlikely to clean up after their dogs in such an instance, if they even notice.

      So this woman broke the law by letting her dog run unleashed. And then she broke the law by making false claims about a man in a 911 call. Yet people here want to blame the man for not taking no for an answer and pushing further for this woman to restrain her dog, whether it be with dog treats or whatever. Very revealing.

      • Not Happy! says:

        Not obeying the lease law is a significantly less serious crime than-

        1. Taking the law into your own hands.

        2. Preparing to do so ahead of time.

        3. Making verbal threats of potentially killing an innocent animal.

        If this man had an issue with this woman he should have taken a picture of her and her dog and then called the police and / or park rangers and had them deal with her.

        He has NO right to try to enforce ANY of that on his own!

    31. naro says:

      “Police say by the time they responded, they were both gone.”

      That is the main lesson of this case. The police take for ever to come.

    32. Chris says:

      I will Bet the woman is a stanch liberal Democrat that voted for Hillary and supports Biden now. “You Ain’t Black”

    33. 939495 says:

      There are people like her all over the city. They aren’t privileged racists, they just have no idea how to deal with complex social situations and instead of backing off gracefully, they respond by escalating. She chose to escalate in a particularly aggressive and insulting way that pushed the race card. I think if a white man had told her to leash the dog she likely would have picked a fight with him too and called the police, perhaps on some other pretext. No different than the times on the subway where I’ve seen someone ask someone else to take their feet off of the extra seat they’re using or to make a bit more room during rush hour, and they respond with vitriol and screaming. And those interactions, which I’m sure many others have seen, are often racially charged, but I’m not sure racism is at issue. We’ve all seen it. It’s the same thing here. Someone is confronted with something they did wrong, they have no idea how to navigate the situation, so they go crazy. Life in the big city. Doesn’t excuse her behavior at all, but I’m not convinced this was a racist act.

    34. AB says:

      Although less so here, the commenters in the NYTimes were overwhelmingly promoting leash-law adherence by the thousands. Yay. Dog-crazed owners may now actually obey leash laws. Oh. If only.

      The racism in this story is clear and abhorrent, of course. Realize that is the core matter.

    35. BJK says:

      There is something suspicious about this guy who purposefully takes along dog treats for other people’s dogs. He was planning something. Reminds me of that women recently covered by WSR who got nailed for vandalism (graffiti) and who just happened to leave the house with a stash of pink chalk in her purse. It is called evidence of intent.

      • KellyBan says:

        He gives the dogs treats to help preserve the environment. Unleashed dogs can trample the plants that attract birds or they can frighten away the birds.

      • Woody says:

        I will bring candy to lure small children who are breaking the law in the park to teach their parents a lesson. Sound reasonable?

    36. JB says:

      Maybe this woman said and did things she shouldn’t have but she will pay a very high price for these mistakes. Isn’t that enough? Or do we want to go for blood too? This has been a hard time for everyone with the pandemic and stresses of shelter in place. Who among us has not said or done things in anger or while stressed and regretted it soon after. Let’s not be so sanctimonius.

    37. Sue says:

      Regarding the confrontation in central park, I often walk there and, believe me, there are plenty of white people and I am white by the way, who gather together and don’t follow social distancing and are oblivious to people around them. The bird watcher was right about the dog
      who definitely should have been on a leash.
      very unfair and I hope the police knew it. I feel for the police having to deal with interactions like this.

    38. J. L. Rivers says:

      I wonder what the poor dog thinks

    39. mlahmbrich says:

      what is going on here? we can call white girls “karen” now? i thought the entire point of all this was to not stereotype? can we give a name to certain black people now too? how about jewish people? what are the rules again?

      • Cato says:

        While I agree with the main point of your comment, I don’t think it’s appropriate to refer to a vice president and head of investment solutions at a well established investment house, and who earned a Masters degree in Business Administration on her way there, as a “girl”.

    40. Burtnor says:

      Agree with many comments here:
      1) The woman’s behavior was unacceptable on several counts: aggressive and racist toward Mr. Cooper;
      2) Abusive to her poor dog being choked the entire time, yanked around, and nearly stepped on;
      3) Entitled and toward the end somewhat hysterical when she was clearly not under any threat.

      However, STOP calling entitled white women “Karen.” It’s a racist way of reducing individuals to assumed categories, and it’s insulting to actual people named Karen (of whom I am not one). It’s rather like the disparaging, dismissive, ageist “OK, boomer.”

      Finally, dog people are increasingly out of control — not the dogs, the people. I’m tired of stepping in poop on the sidewalk, seeing dogs off leash at all hours, including on “passive lawns” where people sit with babies, dogs being walked through flower beds in order to literally pee on the flowers, being taken to pee on tree pits, being allowed to chase and “tree” wildlife in the parks, and being allowed to bark endlessly in apartments and on streets. Dog owners asked politely to curb or rein in their dogs are rude and aggressive. I love dogs, but am starting to truly dislike dog owners.

      • Karen L. Bruno says:

        My name is Karen and it is so offensive to use it in a disparaging way. How would you like it if someone used your name like that!

    41. Karen?? says:

      Yes Ms. Cooper acted in an entitled, obnoxious and racist way — warning Mr. Cooper that she would call the police and claim he (a Black man) was threatening her – and then acting hysterical on the phone to make it sound real.

      Mr. Cooper’s sister referred to her as a “Karen” as did Professor Marc Lamont Hill.

      So is “Karen” a slang term used to describe someone who acts entitled as the article claims. Or is it a derisive/racist term to use against white women – like “white bread” or “cracker.”

      Racism goes both ways and it needs to stop if we are ever to make any progress.

      Lastly – I am glad the rescue now has her dog. The video clearly showed her dragging her dog by the collar. Awful! He deserves better.

      • mkmuws says:

        The Karen crap is abhorrent. And not only white women are named Karen. But racism actually does not go both ways, by definition, it’s a bit more complex than that.

      • B flat says:

        Reddit gave birth to karen, petty vindictive soccer mom character. I reckon the character is a sexist stereotype of an ex wife, a la Kate Gosselin.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          From what I understand, Karen comes from Henry Hill’s wife in Goodfellas. A whiny, self-entitled white woman who does little aside from complaining and stirring up trouble.

    42. Susan says:

      I am not sure it was racism either, the entire exchange was rather ugly, (for lack of a better word) and yes, an obnoxious and entitled woman to the max. The man seemed to be waiting to cause a provocation too, bringing dog treats (?) and instantly ready to film.
      What was equally or more disturbing was the inhumane choke hold on her dog throughout this.

      Given the current state of the country and our city, it is truly sad that simply following the rules, showing respect for others, and being civil to each other has deteriorated to this level.

    43. mkmuws says:

      What is odd, especially with some seeming dog lovers here, is that NO one has called out letting your dog roam free during a global pandemic that has been shown to transmit virus from human to pet, and seemingly not the other way around; at best the jury is still out. If you care about your dog why is it running free amongst strange people and animals anyway?

    44. KT says:

      I am a white woman, probably similar to her age. Similar to her in many ways, I imagine. I have been scared many times in the city, in the park. People have made me nervous, and I have been threatened. And when I am scared I get the hell out of there. She wasn’t scared, she was angry. And in her anger, out came this horrible racism. Her behavior is inexcusable.

    45. Ellen Schreiber says:

      I walk in Central Park every day. I will never forget the day I (and many others)witnessed an off- leash dog attack another dog who was on leash. The attack was horrific, neither dog owner could get the attacking dog off of the other dog. It took three or four bystanders to finally jump in and separate the dogs. I can still hear the howls of the wounded dog and the anguish of its owner. When I left the scene the wounded dog was lying on the ground whimpering. Whenever I see a dog off leash in the park I am drawn back to that horrible day. If people would only follow the rules: they are in place for a reason.
      If Amy Cooper had obeyed the law there would be no story. We must respect each other and our laws.

    46. Horizon Run says:

      When asked by Christian Cooper to follow the rules, it’s telling that her reaction was indignant, angry and then passively violent.

      Amy Cooper understood completely the implications of calling the cops on a Black man. She understood that her faux-breathless screaming and tears could elicit a very specific, historic, racialized response. And that is why she did it, why she felt comfortable saying all the things she said, with a camera trained on her.

      There is, of course, a long history of white women in this country falsely accusing Black people, particularly Black men and boys, of crimes they did not commit. – See Emmitt Till/Carolyn Bryant and Sarah Page/Dick Rowland.

    47. Pearlman Katie says:

      This is a sad incident. Unfortunately these Covid times bring out the worst in some people. Systemic racism is just that, systemic. It is buried deep in her DNA and came out because she was freaking out. Very sad.
      Good for her place of work to take such immediate action

    48. Stephanie Jutt says:

      PLUS SHE IS YOTALLY STRANGLING THE POOR DOG!

    49. Woody says:

      Christian Cooper had been planning this confrontation for a long time, patiently goading white people until he found his “Karen”. He had a polished narrative which was obviously scripted. Look for his sister, Melody, to use this “incident” to boost her otherwise failed career.

      • D.E. Murray says:

        I’m not going to defend Amy Cooper. She was clearly in the wrong. Leash your dog in the Ramble! She threw a tantrum in public. This is unacceptable behavior. She should have leashed her dog and moved on.

        But her public humiliation and degradation (dare I call it a high-tech lynching?) is disgusting.

        And “Karen”? What is this? It’s an obviously vicious racial slur.

        In the middle of a pandemic. This country has serious problems.

        • JL says:

          “Dare I call it… “. You can do whatever you want on the internet. Looks like your reply got pass the moderator.

          The statement is not accurate because she is alive and well and not arrested (yet). The fact is that Black men are killed at a higher rate by U.S. law enforcement.

          https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/08/police-officer-shootings-gun-violence-racial-bias-crime-data/595528/

          Everyone knows it and she used this to lash out at his recording her. She went nuclear with the manufactured hysterical call. I know it stupid to commit a crime on camera because you’re mad at someone recording your dog off leash and choking it while reporting the fake crime.

          Yes the dog suffered, but the man could’ve gotten a beat down or worst. Many have been killed for less than “because I was afraid”.

          I hope you see the difference in losing a job (because you were outed) and lynching.

    50. uwslover says:

      Poor dog 🙁

    51. The Truth says:

      I am not defending her, and she should have had her dog leashed, but to call this racism, is reverse racism. Let’s save the real racist stuff for legit claims. Just because she described someone as African American, does not make her racist. Since when is the term African American offensive? How else should she have described him? Before you start pointing your fingers at me and trying to convince me of racism, which you won’t, I am of color too. I just believe in saving calls of racism to legit stuff. A lot of people wanted to believe Al Sharpton in the Tawanna Brawley hoax days. Projecting something & being angry about past offenses does not make something real. “The weaponizing of white fragility?” That sounds pretty reverse racist to me, & it’s akin to “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Nursery rhymes do not make something so. She didn’t use a disparaging remark. She merely described what he looked like. Sounds like if a white guy approached her, she would have been intimidated and called the cops as well. She was clearly scared, he clearly said “you’re not going to like it” which would unnerve anyone, and in retrospect, she overreacted, which does not constitute racism. When the clumsy mayor claims it is racism, you can bet it is not. He seems to get everything wrong and is always putting his foot in his mouth. Yes, the world is still filled with racism. Save the calls for racism for the scum that kiled Aubery where those morons murdered him, but why destroy a young women’s life and place all of history’s dysfunction on her for some silly dispute between two people?

      • jill says:

        I think you have missed something. She informs him that she is going to tell the police that an African American is threatening her. She is telling him that the police will behave differently to him because of his colour. her phone call is irrelevant. She is subliminally suggesting ‘I am a white woman, you are a black man, have a think how this will play out for you when the cops come’.

        • Boris says:

          So how does that make HER racist? She wasn’t threatening to do any harm to him. She would have been implying that the NYPD might harm him. She doesn’t bear any responsibility for the NYPD’s actions. If he actually believed the NYPD would harm him, do you think he would have stuck around filming her? Maybe her strategy had nothing to do with racism but was intended to play to that fear and give him a reason to skedaddle.

    52. Tudaisey says:

      This video is extremely upsetting to watch as she literally almost strangles and suffocates her dog. And although she claims to be trying to protect her dog, she is doing all the harm !
      Very disturbing and I feel terrible for that poor pup!

    53. Judith says:

      The entire situation is horrific! By acting on her despicable racism against the man, she was also abusing her dog! This dog should never have been adopted to the woman in the first place, and the rescue that okayed the adoption failed when they obviously didn’t “vet” the woman properly first! The dog was apparently reclaimed by the rescue though and will, this time, find a good home.

      • Ruth Bonnet says:

        I do hope that adorable dog finds a good home. He or she deserves better than this. By the way, when I had a dog and spent a huge time in Central Park, he was only off-leash before 9am and NEVER in the Ramble. And I always leashed him if someone asked. But then he was very well trained and off-leash compliant. Poor puppy.

    54. Bebee Ayala says:

      She obviously a racist a lot of that s*** is happening in our world today thanks to President Trump who encouraged this kind of stuff because you too we know is racist

    55. Smith says:

      She’s a racist. She’s just concerned about losing her job and that’s the bottom line. Thank God for viedo cameras on phones or this would’ve taken a different outcome.

    56. Jamie says:

      She was chocking her dog and paying no attention to what she was doing to it, while she was ranging for being called out. She doesn’t deserve to own a pet. She didn’t respect the law of the Ramble and she justified her behaviors by pulling the race card.

    57. Meredith says:

      She could have gotten that man killed with her entitlement, prejudice, and absolutely needless hysteria. She almost strangled her poor dog to death too. Ridiculous.

    58. az says:

      I’m a birder also and I’ve found it sometimes helps to explain to people who have their dogs off-leash that the reason for the rule is to protect endangered birds that feed and nest on the ground. Of course there are always the jerks who don’t care about anything or anyone but themselves, but once in a while that info seems to sink in.

    59. C says:

      @TheConsciousKid recently posted a graphic explaining the difference between racism that is socially acceptable and racism that is not socially acceptable.

      Socially unacceptable racism includes lynching, blackface, swastikas, the KKK, and using the N-word.

      https://www.instagram.com/p/CAq9_0uJary/

      However, there are MANY more socially acceptable racist things people do, including calling the police on black people to threaten them, housing discrimination, hiring discrimination, racist mascots, police brutality, claiming reverse-racism, etc.

      Check it out and reflect on it.

    60. Rob G. says:

      Both of these people suck. He sucks for provoking her and she sucks for becoming unglued and throwing is yet again into an exhausting, overblown racist/non-racist battle with each other. And I suck for wasting my time commenting on it!

    61. UWSSurfer says:

      Henry, the cocker spaniel, was given back to the rescue group from which Amy Cooper adopted him over 2 years ago.

      Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue frees cocker spaniels from kill shelters. They also accept surrenders. https://www.nyabandonedangels.com/about-us

      Henry is most likely being fostered in someone’s home.

      While living with Amy Cooper, Henry has suffered a slew of injuries.

      Amy posted details and photos of Henry’s injuries on her social media, which has now been deleted. You can find screen captures by doing a Google or Twitter search. She posted as if it were Henry speaking.

      Henry suffered a torn off toenail, nearly drowned in Central Park, choked on something he ate off the street, and was attacked by a dog that injured Henry’s neck.

      It is apparent that Amy suffers from a form of Munchausen von Proxy, imo.

      Poor Henry. Her choking him in the park was just one of the many traumas that he endured while living with her.

      I’m glad that he is safe and away from Amy.

    62. UWSSurfer says:

      The Ramble isn’t the place for a woman who is
      by herself and is hoping to avoid danger. It is dense and secluded.

      Amy Cooper obviously knew she was breaking the rules and didn’t want anyone to see her with her dog off the leash.

      It would be a good idea if bird-watcher, Christian Cooper, starts carrying a squeaky dog toy instead of treats.

      Christian was not in search of an altercation simply by carrying dog treats. It’s similar to what most postal delivery people or power and gas meter-readers do when going to someone’s house – they carry dog treats or a dog-repellent spray.

      Lastly, every dog should have its leash attached to a harness and not a collar, no matter its size. A leash attached to a collar puts dangerous pressure on the dog’s trachea.

    63. Ashley says:

      She clearly took this to a racist level in the end, but can we talk about how saying “you’re not going to like what I do”, then proceeding to call the dog and trying to feed it god knows what (she had no idea it was a treat) ARE indeed threats. I would have 100% thought he was trying to take or poison my dog. I am not excusing her having the dog off-leash or taking it to a racist extreme, but anyone that says that isn’t scary is crazy.

      • JL says:

        Hi Ashley, I hope you’ve read some of the hundreds of comments here on WSR or the Gothamist. Not to worry, you still have the right to be scared anytime you want. But you can’t weaponize your own fear and go batsh*t ballistic anymore because cameras are everywhere. Smartphones are cheap, even poor people have them now. Cops have to wear them for work, cc surveillance cameras abound in NYC. Amidou Diallo was shot 41 times because the cops were “scared” when AD was asked to show ID. No video. Cops found not guilty.

        2017- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Philando_Castile

        Video footage of “scared” cop killing. Found not guilty because he followed procedures. The officer was fired from his job because of video from inside the car.

        Leaving the racist/ non-racists, manufactured hysteria or justified arguments aside. There is a penalty for overreacting. Termination of job is quick and simple. Termination of life is not reversible.

        If I may offer a suggestion the next time you feel threatened in any way, try to remove yourself from the situation. Take a breath. Then decide if you want to call the cops without strangling your dog. Do not charge toward the threat on camera/or off, you know, because you don’t know what he’s got. Rest assured you can live another day to be scared anytime you want.

        Stay safe, and stay sane if you can.

    64. Geegee says:

      She cared so much for the main character (the dog) in this whole scenario that she literally almost choked him (the dog) to death forgot all about the main thing that cause the issue didn’t show the dog no love or concern just choked him through him around paid him no attention but it was about him (the dog) she might as well let him go where it was dangerous he may have had a better turn out then what he got…smh…as far as the story humans it was a dumb move on both parties…

    65. Dan Smith says:

      What’s up with the guy saying that he can and would call her dog over and that “he carried dog treats around for situations like this?”

      Leave aside her call. Isn’t what the guy did weird? If you are a woman walking your dog, and someone tells you that he will call your dog over and says that, wouldn’t feel threatened?

      If she had not said that he was threatening her life, only that there is a man bothering her and her dog, would she be wrong?

    66. Mark says:

      Of course she’s a despicable racist. Her excuses all the more ludicrous, disgusting. She picked this “terrifying” spot to be in. Fine for so so long as no black man. Egregious IMO for the police to do nothing. We need protection from the likes of her.

    67. Sheila says:

      Amy is clearly a woman under pressure. There was a time pre women’s lib when everyone understood that. Oh for the good old days! Now that we {men and women} are all the same, the gloves are off. Mr. Cooper’s use of a barely veiled threat, enticing her dog with treats, would never have been excused in the past. The solution: gentlemanly behavior {remember?} might have given that poor soul a pass. Instead she is vilified by all and sundry, has lost her job and has an angry ex making claims about her that cannot be proven. Welcome all cowards. Let’s see if we can totally this woman! Sick, really sick.